The program of the main documentary film competition of the 25th MIFF "Listapad"
DOCUMENTARY FILMS COMPETITION
The film is dedicated to the consequences of globalization. In response to this planetary trend, different processes take place in society. They differ from the main directions of globalization, focusing on one's own history, local traditions, national depth, strengthening of national self-awareness. At the heart of the nostalgic, but at the same time creative film, is Siarhei Bandarenka, a simple man, who is creating a copy of Kreva Castle in his garden in 1:10 scale. His final plan is to create a tourist atmosphere that would reflect in depth the historical events of this land.
A STRANGER ON MY COUCH
An image of a contemporary city from the couchsurfers perspective. Warsaw is becoming a meeting place for people from different corners of the world, of different ages, with different life stories. What they have in common is a feeling of being lost and a dire need to run away from their solitude. Couchsurfing is becoming a platform of communication for totally different worlds – what may be any other reason why a Polish engineer in his fifties and a German student assemble together a Chinese model of a helicopter.
Hans BLOCK, Moritz RIESEWIECK
Enter a shadow industry of digital cleaning, where the Internet rids itself of what it doesn‘t like. We meet five “digital scavengers” whose job is to delete "inappropriate" content and people around the globe whose lives are dramatically affected by online censorship. A typical "cleaner" must observe and rate thousands of often deeply disturbing images and videos every day, leading to lasting psychological impacts. Yet underneath their work lie profound questions around what makes an image art or propaganda and what defines journalism. Where exactly is the point of balance for social media to be neither an unlegislated space nor a forum rife with censorship?
Tonight the Czech president is to announce to a group of his supporters gathered at the Prague Castle whether he is going to run for the office again. Journalists are not allowed to attend the event, but they want to get the information right away. The newsrooms in the Czech Television and Hospodářské noviny daily have been closely monitoring one and the same event since early this morning putting together their "breaking news". However, the way they do it is not quite the same. We get a very fresh and authentic inside look into the practices of journalists working for traditional media in the hectic times of information overload.
In Christian culture suicide is a taboo. A soldier’s suicide is a double taboo. Rivo, who has been on a military mission to Afghanistan twice, suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and finally takes his life. In a suicide note he asks for forgiveness. In Dino Buzzati’s novel THE TARTAR STEPPE nameless soldiers in a nameless country are waiting for a nameless enemy. ESTCOY soldiers had a clearer idea of who the enemy was.
Nevertheless, some of them come back from the war mentally deranged. The film makes us think whether one has to sacrifice himself participating in actions where none of what he was taught as a child matters anymore?
Ukraine, France, Poland
HOME GAMES depicts a crucial moment in the life of Alina, a 20-year-old girl from a poor family in Kyiv, whose passion for football has a chance of saving her from poverty. She grew up on the streets in a poor suburb of the Ukrainian capital. While her parents were in jail for petty crimes, she started playing football with boys until a women's football trainer noticed her talent and signed her to Atex Kyiv, the only women's club in the city. Alina is about to join the Ukrainian national team when life throws up a new challenge: her mother dies, leaving two young siblings. Now, Alina must choose: football or family.
CHRIS THE SWISS
Switzerland, Croatia, Germany, Finland
The beginning of the 90s: the Yugoslavian Wars had started. Young men from all over Europe were taking part in them. On January 7th 1992, a Swiss journalist was found dead in Croatia wearing the uniform of an international mercenary group. Twenty years later, his cousin, the director Anja Kofmel, researches the background to understand, why these men are so fascinated by war.
For the last 22 years, Viktor Stepanov has lived deep in the forest, five kilometres from the nearest village. His home is a canopy of dense fabric in several layers, an iron stove and an earthen floor. Thoughts about nature and man’s place in the biosphere have accompanied Viktor all his life. He says that after nine months living in the forest you are left "naked": one-on-one with yourself. At times there is nowhere to hide from melancholy, but the hermit draws strength from his unbreakable bond with the natural environment.
OVER THE LIMIT
Finland, Germany, Poland
Margarita Mamun, an elite Russian rhythmic gymnast, is struggling to become an Olympic champion. It is the most crucial year of her career and her last chance to achieve an ultimate dream, a gold medal. The film creates an intense portrait of a young woman who is desperately trying to handle her own ambitions and fulfil the expectations of the official Russian training system. It gives an exclusive access to the hidden world of the elite gymnasts and an insight to the harsh and successful triangle between the young sportswoman and her two trainers. OVER THE LIMIT is an intimate drama of brutal relationships that lead to success.
Hungary, Germany, United Kingdom
Three grandsons embark with their grannies on an anarchic journey into the past – a complex road movie about intergenerational dialogue. GRANNY PROJECT is a coming of age story of three young men and a "coming out of age" tale of their grandmothers – an English spy, a dancer from Nazi Germany and a Hungarian communist Holocaust survivor. It is an experiment to form a language which the forthcoming generations could use to keep the values, generated in the 20th century, alive. The film deals with classic values and taboo-like historical topics, and the method used is equally important as it gives an insight to the zeitgeist of the young today.
Jūratė SAMULIONYTĖ, Vilma SAMULIONYTĖ
WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND
Two sisters from Lithuania – a filmmaker and a photographer – take a journey through the past of their grandmother. She was from a German minority in Lithuania, which was expelled by Nazi policy “Heim ins Reich” to Germany during the WWII. There she spent three years and nobody could explain why and how she came back to the Soviet Union on her own. While searching for reasons of coming back the authors encounter her love story, discomfort of being German in Soviet Lithuania and a chain of suicides in their family. The reality is stronger than any written script and gives the most unexpected dramaturgy for characters during this project.
A WOMAN CAPTURED
Marish, a 52-year-old Hungarian woman, has been serving a family for a decade, working 20 hours a day without getting paid. Her ID was taken from her and she's not allowed to leave the house without permission. Treated like an animal, she only gets leftovers to eat and no bed to sleep in. She spends the days with fear in her heart, but dreaming of getting her life back. The presence of the camera helps her realize she isn’t completely alone. She begins to show signs of trust; after 2 years of shooting, she gathers her courage and reveals her plan: "I am going to escape". The film follows Marish’s heroic journey back to freedom.
THE OTHER SIDE OF EVERYTHING
Serbia, France, Qatar
A locked door inside a Belgrade apartment has kept one family separated from their past for over seventy years. As the filmmaker begins an intimate conversation with her mother, the political fault line running through their home reveals a house and a country haunted by history. The chronicle of a family in Serbia turns into a searing portrait of an activist in times of great turmoil, questioning the responsibility of each generation to fight for their future.